Homeowners A to Z

July 10, 2013

What you didn’t know. And, in all likelihood, what you wish you didn’t.

  POSTAGE by Rob Stamp

Anxious. Describes feeling a homeowner gets when a tornado warning is posted, or how it feels finding your renewal bill in the day’s mail.

Bent over. Position you are convinced to find yourself in when dealing with anything involving insurance.

Coverage amounts. The most your insurance company will pay for a covered loss to your property, less your deductible.

Deductible. Your share of a covered loss. Any insurance settlement will be based on the value of the damaged property or cost for repairs, minus the applicable deductible.

Emergency repairs. One condition of your policy, in the event of loss, is that you make emergency repairs to help prevent against further damage. Keep any receipts, present them to the adjuster and learn if he is on his toes by not overlooking it in his initial estimate.

Flood is one of the few perils specifically excluded from homeowners insurance policies. Flood insurance is only available through a program administered by FEMA, which is all I have to say about that.

Gazinta. A mathematical procedure astute claims adjusters use when ciphering complicated estimates for costs of repairs for covered damage. (Ex.: Four gazinta eight two times.)

Hogs and other livestock being raised on the residence premises DO NOT have the same policy rights as the named insured(s) listed on the policy declarations page.

It’s not rocket surgery. It’s insurance. Nothing complicated about, “That’s covered. That ain’t.”

Jewelry, and other expensive items like artwork, collections, and the silver and gold ol’ Burl Ives sang about, need special attention because of certain limitations in homeowners policies.

Krispy Kreme doughnuts stolen from the front seat of your car would be covered under the homeowners policy, though in all but the rarest cases would fall well below the deductible. Very few auto policies provide personal property coverage for items taken from your car.

Liability coverage is detailed under Section II of the homeowners policy. Basically, if you screw up and unintentionally cause injuries or damage to others, you hope like hell the liability portion of your policy relieves you of having to pay any financial settlement out of your own pocket.

Motorized vehicles are generally only granted coverage under homeowners policies when they are used to service the property (think tractors and mowers) or used to provide mobility for handicapped persons (think Joe Swanson from “Family Guy.”)

Not in a million years will you see homeowner premiums and deductibles go back to where they were just five years ago.

Optional coverages that allow you to best tailor your policy to suit your particular needs.

Pain threshold. How big of a deductible can you stand?

Queasy might be one way to describe how homeowners feel the first time they returned to a total loss. It’s at times like these when the insurance company can permanently earn or burn its reputation with its handling of the claim.

Rub a magic lamp and, if a genie appears, tell him or her you need a new roof because you’re feeling a little guilty that the insurance company keeps having to pay mostly for them.

Squeezing every last nickel and dime of premium from a customer is a time-honored tradition that the insurance industry has no plans to abandon.

Tools, the kind you work with, not some of the people you work with, are covered by homeowners insurance, but you’re in for a bad trip if you’re using them for business and the loss occurs away from your residence premises.

Underwear, no matter how scuzzy, and the rest of your belongings are considered personal property, which is covered under Coverage C under Section I of the homeowners policy. Be sure your personal property has replacement cost coverage, which means the insurance company would replace your old, smelly underwear with new, soft underwear (of like kind and quality) in the event of a covered loss.

Volcanic eruption would be a sight to behold … unless your house sits in the direct path of the lava flow. In that case, head for the hills (hopefully, the ones in the other direction)!

Water damage is almost always excluded from coverage under homeowners. There ain’t a policy out there that’s gonna cover you for the water seeping through that crack in your foundation. Luckily, coverage usually applies for sudden accidental breakage of plumbing systems and appliances. Also, coverage for damage caused by water that backs up through sewers or drains is available for an additional premium. Be sure to ask for it by name.

Xylophones and other musical instruments are covered under personal property, but coverage may be limited if used by professionals.

You have to admit, Meadow Park Insurance Agency really does a good job explaining insurance matters to you in ways you never considered before.

Zeppelins would be excluded from a homeowner’s personal liability coverage, under the standard aircraft exclusion.